Ideapod – Destiny

Ideapod – Decoding Destiny

Hi Damian,

Much the same for me.

And if you examine the evidence from the realm of the very small, the notion of causality is clearly illusory.

And I get how hard that can be to accept.

So I can say with very high confidence, that the notion of destiny is absurd, if one is actually willing to put in the time to examine the evidence closely, and examine all of the assumptions that few ever think about.

And I get that from the position you accept, with the as yet unexamined evidence and assumption sets, what you write seems sensible and logical to you, and it doesn’t to me.

If you are right, then you do not exist as a conscious agent, and my actions can have no effect on you, as everything was predestined from the first instant of the big bang.

If my assertions are a reasonable approximation to reality, then we are all moral agents, our choices matter, and it behoves each and every one of us to make the best choices we can.

[followed by]

Hi Damian

If you are correct, then neither of us had any choice in what we wrote, nor what we do next, we are all just automata carrying out fixed paths that were determined and unchangeable since the big bang. That is a possible hypothesis, and many people (like yourself) do in fact believe such. It has the convenient property of removing any hint of moral responsibility for one’s actions, as those actions were completely determined.
There are strong logical arguments that can be mounted for such a thesis, and those arguments all rest on the assumption that reality follows causal rules.

That assumption of causality seems common-sense to most people, because in our day to day reality many things do seem to behave in ways that are a very close approximation to causal rules.

However, when one examines the realm of the very small, very closely, what one sees defies common-sense. One gets to the realm of Quantum Mechanics.

When one looks very closely at the results of the experiments involving quantum mechanics, what one sees is a stochastic environment, where what happens is entirely random, but within certain probability distributions.

When one sums vast numbers of those stochastic events over vast (by the context of those very tiny things, yet still smaller than unaided human perception can detect) dimensions of space and time, one gets numbers that are a very close approximation to hard causality, where the randomness is reduced to less than one part in a trillion trillion – far below our ability to measure with any current instrument.

So in the realm of common perception, of “common-sense”, most things do follow causal rules to within the limits of measurement error we can detect.

But that does not mean that reality is causal. It only means that it approximates causality within many of the realms available to the context of normal human perceptions.

Taking such assumptions beyond that realm is common, and does lead where you have gone.

It does not make them either logical, or correct.

In fact the vast amount of evidence from QM refutes the assertion, even if very few of the researchers in that realm are yet to question their assumption sets sufficiently to allow them to see that.

Your assertions are completely logical, if the assumption sets they are based upon are true.
It just seems very clear from the evidence available that those assumption sets are not true.

It seems very clear (on balance of probabilities) that this universe within which we find ourselves is a mix of the random and the lawful, a stochastic system constrained by boundaries.
If you are familiar with complexity theory, that description may trigger a familiar response of understanding.

It seems clear in logic, that only in such a mixed system, where the lawful and the random coexist, can free will, of the sort we seem clearly to experience, exist.
And in such a complex system, nothing is ever entirely free, nor entirely constrained, and everything has probabilities associated with both freedom and constraint, and those probabilities vary with context.
Within such a system, systems that can model themselves within such a system are capable of influencing the probabilities of both contexts and constraints. Step into the world of infinite recursion, connections without limit, probabilities without certainty. Not the sort of realm where normal “common-sense” is comfortable. It takes a while to get used to.

It does in fact seem to be the best description currently available that accounts for all observations thus far observed.

That is about as close to any conception of “truth” as has any meaning left for me.

My world is all probabilities.

The hard certainties of my youth are but a distant memory of chilhood illusions.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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